Running a small business can be difficult and while publicity might be the last thing you’re thinking about, it’s vital to your brand’s success. Even if your business does not have a substantial advertising budget, you can further your brand for free by incorporating the following PR strategies into your Marketing efforts. Oh, and best of all, each option is free:
Consider Local Outreach
Building a local following is ideal for a small business because it establishes a foundation for a loyal following. Start by finding local events or businesses to partner with, which can help with brand building, allowing for free press in the process. You can research ways to gain exposure for your brand by searching local news and directories; just remember to think outside the box.
Use HARO to Find Journalists
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a very popular tool used by PR Pros and Journalists alike. HARO helps journalists find sources for articles they’re writing, and PR Pros when they’re looking for exposure. Send a pitch to get featured in desired publications to be seen as an influencer in your industry.
Find Quality Niche Publications
Target the most quality impressions by researching the publications your demographics are most likely to read. Begin by focusing on a specific industry, and then locate the popular publications your demographics are reading.
Build Relationships with Appropriate Journalists
Getting featured isn’t guaranteed. Many times a proposed topic will provide an excellent springboard for your brand, but the required information source will disqualify you. Expect that there will be competition, as well. To maximize results from these media outlets, work to establish positive relationships with reporters for the following reasons:
- They will be more likely to feature your submission.
- They might be able to refer or point you to another source if they can’t use you for a particular story.
- The goal is to establish a relationship where you can help each other out – it’s a win-win!
Create and Promote a Blog
When positioned properly any business can benefit from writing a blog. Blogging provides a free platform that allows you to entertain and inform your audience, while promoting your expertise. This is a great way to stand out from your competition!
Promoting your blog is easier than promoting a product or service for several reasons:
- It’s free entertainment, so potential customers won’t feel like they’re being sold.
- It’s a way to offer information/news from a unique perspective.
- A catchy blog topic can tie into buzz-worthy news for more impressions and clicks.
Example: Popular Social Media software companies like Hootsuite and Buffer blog about Social Media Marketing. They rarely mention their own products because they blog to entertain and inform. Regular readers see their brand with more authority and trust, thus increasing the likelihood of trying one of their products.
Guest Post for Relevant Blogs
Blog readers are typically very loyal, especially when it comes to popular niche blogs. Begin by researching the most popular and influential blogs in your industry, contact the blog owners and ask if they’re interested in contributors. By guest writing on reputable blogs, your word will be credible as readers already trust the platform, and you will receive free exposure in return!
Utilize Social Media Marketing
Regardless of industry, you have potential customers on social media – so it’s time to capitalize. Make a statement for your brand to break away from your competition. Creating organic content meant to be shared is a great way to promote brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website.
Social Media Marketing is meant to encapsulate the story of your brand. Rather than just promoting your services, you can tie in all other marketing efforts with Social Media. Whether you write a new blog article, guest post for a relevant blog, are featured in an appropriate publication, host/attend a local event, or anything else that’s newsworthy, use Social Media to tell your brand’s story!
Effective branding can be the difference between a company failing or succeeding, regardless of size. But as we have demonstrated above, Brand Marketing is a full-time, continuous job. Seeking guidance for your small business’ brand? Contact the experts at Active Web Group and experience the true power of professional branding at 1-800-978-3417!